Cut off your hand and pluck out your eye.

“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut if off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.”

– Matthew 18:8-9

Jesus here teaches us a way to overcome certain sin in our lives that we just can’t seem to beat.  A sin that we keep falling into it over and over again.  Jesus’ approach is extreme, but the consequences call for extreme measures.

Jesus said that if our hand, foot, or eye causes us to sin then we should cut it off (or pluck it out).  It’s seems unreasonable to say that because a hand, foot, or eye is very important, and without them life would be a little more difficult.  But the thing about Jesus is that he looks at the big picture.  And this is, in essence, what he says: “Even if you have to go through 70 or 80 years of life with one foot, one hand, and with an eye patch, it’s a whole lot better than spending forever in Hell.”

There should be a healthy fear of Hell in our lives.  A healthy fear of Hell is simply a healthy fear of God’s judgment.  Those who do evil will be judged by God.  When it comes to preventing sin in our lives, I think a fear of Hell is kind of like a last line of defense type thing. For example, we should not sin because we love God, but sometimes our love grows cold for a season.  We should not sin because we love people, but the same may happen here. We should not sin because we could hurt ourselves, but sometimes we don’t care.  So it may sometimes come to the point where we say, “I really don’t want to go to hell and so I’m not going live in this sin.”

It’s worked for me.  The devil may tempt me to do this or that and sometimes I will say to him, “No devil, I don’t want to spend eternity with you. No thanks!”

Now when you’ve figured out that you don’t want to have to answer to God for the sin you’ve committed, you repent and ask forgiveness, but you also need to be sure you don’t fall into that sin again.  So what do you do?  You cut off the source.

Maybe you have a hand that tends to reach for things it shouldn’t; cut it off!  Maybe you have a foot that takes you places that you shouldn’t go; cut it off! Maybe you have an eye that looks at things that it shouldn’t look at; pluck it out!

Some people say that this verse isn’t to be taken literally, but I don’t see why it can’t.  It is certainly true literally.  However, being realistic, we could probably solve many of our problems by cutting off different things besides our body parts.  For example, if you struggle with internet porn than get rid of your computer or put it in a place where you know you wouldn’t be tempted to look.  If you struggle because you are around certain friends, then find new friends.  I know it may seem hard, but it is a lot less hard then spending eternity in hell, wouldn’t you say?